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About Christopher

Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Community Broadband Netwroks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. He runs MuniNetworks.org as part of ILSR’s effort to ensure broadband networks are directly accountable to the communities that depend upon them. More

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Dec 11, 2017

Repealing Net Neutrality Puts 177 Million Americans at Risk

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/repealing-net-neutrality-puts-177-million-americans-at-risk/

This Thursday, December 14th, the FCC plans to remove network neutrality protections. Republican Commissioners and Chairman Ajit Pai justify the decision by claiming that the market will naturally protect subscribers from predatory big ISP behavior. Unfortunately, the FCC’s own numbers disprove their theory. We dug into the data that reveals how 177 million Americans will be left without any market protection following net neutrality repeal. Continue reading

Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Nov 24, 2017

Commentary: Local Communities Deserve to Make their Own Choices

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/commentary-local-communities-deserve-to-make-their-own-choices/

This article was originally published in Port Huron Times-Herald on November 14th, 2017. Recently, a Michigan state lawmaker went viral on the Internet — but for the wrong reasons. Last month, state Rep. Michele Hoitenga filed a bill that would preempt local governments from spending public funds to build community broadband Internet networks. Across the country,… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Nov 22, 2017

An Open Letter to Burlington on Local Ownership & Burlington Telecom

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/an-open-letter-to-burlington-on-local-ownership-burlington-telecom/

At the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we have been watching the latest developments with Burlington Telecom from afar but with extreme curiosity. We have watched a wonderful local movement grow to Keep Burlington Telecom Local and that fits entirely with our values. Because of the challenges from BT’s prior mismanagement and court settlement, Burlington’s options are limited. The benefits… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Nov 15, 2017

Lessons From the Nation’s Oldest Open Access Fiber Network – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 279

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/lessons-from-the-nations-oldest-open-access-fiber-network-community-broadband-bits-podcast-279/

This is episode 279 of our Community Broadband Bits podcast! Community Broadband Bits is a short weekly podcast featuring interviews with people building community networks or otherwise involved with Internet policy. Grant County’s Public Utility District was, along with some nearby PUDs, among the very first deployers of Fiber-to-the-Home networks shortly after the turn of the millennium…. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Oct 3, 2017

Lessons Learned: “Not Feasible” Could Reflect Consultant, Not Your Community Network

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/lessons-learned-not-feasible-could-reflect-consultant-not-your-community-network/

To be fair, “not feasible” could also mean that you are asking the wrong questions. Nothing rules out that the problem lies with both the consultant AND the questions. It’s hard to tell from the outside which of these factors dominates. An Incomplete Path For years, Iowa’s Decorah has been considering a municipal fiber network and… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jul 5, 2017

Access Appalachia: Internet Access for Rural America

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/access-appalachia-internet-access-for-rural-america/

Check back on MuniNetworks.org’s Resource Page frequently for updates to Internet access in the Appalachian region. This is the central hub for ILSR’s research on Internet access around the Appalachian United States. We have compiled federal statistics on broadband availability and federal subsidies for large Internet Service Providers. We’ve created detailed maps of 150 counties… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jun 13, 2017

Roosevelt Institute Argues for Better Broadband Policy – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 258

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/roosevelt-institute-argues-for-better-broadband-policy-community-broadband-bits-podcast-258/

This is episode 258 of our Community Broadband Bits podcast! Community Broadband Bits is a short weekly audio show featuring interviews with people building community networks or otherwise involved with Internet policy. As the telecommunications and broadband market has become more and more consolidated, it has drawn more attention, leading to more attention from people that… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 20, 2017

New York City Works With Grassroots for Low-Income Access – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 254

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/new-york-city-works-with-grassroots-for-low-income-access-community-broadband-bits-podcast-254/

This is episode 254 of our Community Broadband Bits podcast! Community Broadband Bits is a short weekly audio show featuring interviews with people building community networks or otherwise involved with Internet policy. Some time ago, when speaking with Joshua Breitbart, the Senior Advisor for Broadband to the New York City CTO Miguel Gamiño, he mentioned to… Continue reading

Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 6, 2017

Quick Reflections on Google Fiber

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/quick-reflections-on-google-fiber/

I have been a Google Fiber supporter, believing that Google’s investments and policy goals would move the United States forward, away from the monopolies of entrenched incumbents. When others claimed that Google was abandoning fiber, I argued that Google had not yet decided… it was arguing internally about the right path.

But now I think it is pretty clear that Google is done with significant fiber investment, particularly for single family residential homes. I have strong doubts that Google will continue with the Huntsville-type approaches of leasing dark fiber, but I hope that will continue. Continue reading

Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Feb 20, 2017

State Needs Better Broadband, Not Subsidies

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/state-needs-better-broadband-not-subsidies/

Knoxville News Sentinel – February 19, 2017

If you were tasked with improving the internet access across Tennessee, a good first start would be to examine what is working and what’s not. But when the General Assembly debates broadband, it frequently focuses on what AT&T and Comcast want rather than what is working. Continue reading